The Kansas State football team may have lost a pair of potential starting receivers this spring, but Wildcats coach Chris Klieman doesn’t seem worried about the current state of that position.
“I still think we have pretty good talented guys there at receiver, actually,” Klieman said Wednesday at a Catbacker event in Wichita. “There is a lot of young guys that are really good players who are going to have an opportunity. There was nothing really established, I didn’t think, during the spring. One of the guys you mention didn’t even participate in the spring. I’m just looking at the guys we have.”
The two players K-State may have to live without next season are Hunter Rison and Isaiah Zuber. Rison, a Michigan State transfer, was suspended indefinitely following a domestic battery arrest last month. Zuber, a rising senior who caught 52 passes for 619 yards and five touchdowns last season, entered the transfer portal without an explanation.
When asked about both players, Klieman had little to say.
“I don’t want to comment on any of that stuff,” he said.
He would rather focus on the receivers that remain active members of the K-State football team.
They don’t flaunt quite as much depth as they did at the end of spring practices, when receiver looked like the strongest position on the roster, but they are still capable of making plays with Skylar Thompson throwing them passes.
Two receivers, in particular, have impressed Klieman thus far.
“Wykeen Gill really jumped out at me,” Klieman said. “I thought he was an exceptional player that made plays an awful lot. I think Dalton Schoen runs exceptional routes and has great hands and does some really good things. I know Skylar trusts him.”
But Klieman is also eager to see what a few other pass-catchers can bring to the offense next season.
“Landry Weber has got a chance,” Klieman said. “Chabastin (Taylor) has got a chance. We have got some guys. Malik (Knowles) was banged up a lot. Phillip (Brooks) was banged up a lot. Some of those guys people know about, we didn’t get a good chance to see enough of. We have some freshmen coming in and we have to have a chance to see what those kids can do, because that is a position where you can play somebody early on.”
Two incoming freshmen could be ready to make an immediate impact for the Wildcats.
Klieman described Joshua Youngblood as the potential “steal” of his inaugural K-State recruiting class, and he is also high on Lawrence athlete Keenan Garber.
It may be scary to think about what K-State returns at receiver. Schoen, a rising senior from Overland Park, is the team’s most accomplished receiver with 55 catches, 990 yards and five touchdowns to his name. Everyone else at the position is still trying to prove themselves.
They will all get opportunities next season. Klieman is looking forward to seeing what they can do.